Wexford FC 1 Bray Wanderers 1 (AET) (Bray won 5-4 on penalties)
Playing for over an hour with ten players, Bray dug deep to reach the Semi Finals of the U15 EA SPORTS LOI Academy Shield.
Joshua O’Leary converted the winning spot-kick as Wanderers advanced to the final four with a shoot-out victory after the Quarter Final tie finished 2-2 after extra time.
With Liam Billings saving the hosts’ second 12-yard attempt, Adam Keene, Cristiano Bramley, Sean Hennelly and Callum Kenna all scored from the spot to seal the 5-4 shoot-out victory on Sunday afternoon.
In a match moved from Ferrycarrig Park to the all-weather at Wexford CBS, Wexford hit the front after just three minutes as Ryan Wycherley scored.
But the visitors were level by the tenth minute.
Billy O’Neill was upended in the box, with Hennelly keeping his cool to dispatch the penalty.
After that, both O’Neill and O’Leary had opportunities cleared off the goal-line.
Juts before the end of the opening half hour, full-back Noah Byrne sent over a cross which was met by Bramley’s cracking volley to make it 2-1.
But the Green and White’s suffered a blow midway through the second period when O’Neill was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
The Slaneysiders – who fielded a number of ex-Bray players, as well as several Wicklow natives – made the extra player advantage count in the 70th minute as Rian O’Grady found the net.
The away side saw Billings come to the rescue with just four minutes of normal time remaining when he superbly tipped over Ryan Butler’s goal bound header.
With Billings and O’Leary taking the plaudits for their great showings, the squad overall deserve great credit for their character showing in achieving the result.
Darragh Sherlock was perhaps the visitors man of the match with a tremendous performance.
Bray Wanderers: Liam Billings; Ryan Bell Mihaila, Max Free, Callum Kenna, Noah Byrne; Sean Howard, Joshua O’Leary; Cristiano Bramley, Darragh Sherlock, Sean Hennelly; Billy O’Neill.
Subs: Evan Lynch, Jake Fulton, Tadhg Worthington Adam Keene, Alex Forde.
* The draw was also made for the Semi Finals.
Bray will have home advantage on Sunday November 5 next against Derry City – provisionally at Ballycorus.
The Candystripes overcame Kerry FC 5-1 on Saturday at the Athlone Town Stadium.
UCD and Waterford advanced to the other Semi Final.